Ecco is another of those Italian words that just don't quite translate into English.
Roughly, it means “here” or “there”.
In English we pepper our speech with little phrases like “here we go” “here you are” and “there you have it”, and Italians do the same.
– Eccoci, finalmente siamo arrivati
– Here we are, we've finally arrived!
But of course, it's not really that simple. Even in Italian, ecco is in a category all of its own. Literally.
Avverbi presentativi, or presentation adverbs, is the name of a type of adverb in Italian used to present, indicate, show, or announce something. The one and only adverb of this type still used in modern-day Italian is ecco.
You can find it used alone, but often it's attached to a pronoun: mi, ti, ci, vi, lo, la, li, le, ne
– Eccovi qui, cari amici!
– there you are, dear friends!
– Eccoli qua!
– here you have them!
These ecco phrases are often used to announce the arrival or appearance of someone or something, particularly if it's long-awaited.
– ecco il treno
– here's the train
?? Ecco qua!
A wonderful example to clarify the Italian expression that often translates: There you go!
Actually, here below you can read “Eccoli” where the attached “-li” refers to the figs. So, more or less, you can translate it as: There you go with them (your figs?) ! https://t.co/fMUHKKPN2C
— Italian & Art with Nicco – Dite! (@DiteNicco) August 19, 2020
It has more subtle meanings too. For example, this dictionary says it can “lend a nuance of irony to a situation.”
But most often I hear it used as an exclamation, to express satisfaction or surprise.
In that case, it translates to something like “look at that” or maybe even “behold!”
– Ecco! Ho dimenticato di nuovo le chiavi!
– Look at that. I forgot the keys again!
– Look… well then
An ecco can also be deployed halfway through a sentence when you want to correct or change what you were saying.
– mi è sembrato… ecco… ho saputo che…
– I felt… no… I knew that…
You can use it to start or end a discussion or explanation
– Ecco, le cose sono andate così
– Here, things went like this
– ecco tutto
– that's all
And ecco fatto (that’s it) means something is finished.
– Ecco fatto l'articolo!
– That's the article finished!
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